Life has taken on strange shapes.
The nights are dust heavy, airless and weighted with whispers. I whisper too.
Nothing is private. Nothing unseen.
Early mornings shave out a space before I become a function. In these spare moments I try to remember myself, to search out who I still might am be. I steal seconds, minutes, find a little life outside. I swap these eyes for others.
Here I must be made from outside in. It is necessary, I get that, but it leaves me inside out, wholly hidden and yet wholly exposed. I am never quite my own.
Even scarfed I am strange, disguised. I see myself so in sidelong glances, stolen through the drape of the veil-shelter. I know I’m not quite right. I walk wrong, too fast and firm. The sound a muffled protest I try to stifle to still something inappropriate.
As I walk down the street I am followed by glances, stares, sidelong looks that swarm me. I try to take them with a smile, flip them into friendly. I tell myself I am only alien, there is no malice in the fact of being outside, othered. It’s just another truth.
There is a subtle power in the spin of interpretation and I claim that. Inside I tell myself their stories. Those are my secrets.
My head dips down to passers by. I don’t offer the defiance of a glance. I swallow smiles, model demure, politely downcast. But I still see. I still am. Quiet, hidden, but turning.